Spring is turtle season at Grundy Lake

Many Ontario Parks have their “signature” wildlife: commonly-encountered and charismatic animals that most park visitors hope to catch a glimpse of during their stay.

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is named for the iconic Woodland Caribou.  Murphys Point Provincial Park is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the elusive Gray Ratsnake. Rondeau Provincial Park is the place to see the rare Prothonotary Warbler.

But did you know Grundy Lake Provincial Park is the place to see a Blanding’s Turtle?

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Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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Reptile Day at Rondeau Provincial Park

Rondeau Provincial Park hosts “Reptile Day.” A day to learn about our sensational scaly critters!

We encourage everyone (even if you are not too keen on the legless variety) to join us in a day dedicated to the appreciation of ALL of our unique reptile species, from snakes to skinks.
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Road to conservation

Guest Blogger: Sean Boyle 

Growing up, I spent quite a bit of my time wandering through the woods, and exploring – looking at flowers, flipping logs, catching insects and watching them in a clear bucket – the type of thing many children do.  As I worked my way through university, I realized that there was more to nature than being a naturalist and as I begun to be exposed to wildlife biology I realized that this was the path I wanted to follow. When I headed off to graduate school, and was offered the opportunity to take the lead on a project involving reptile and amphibian conservation in Presqu’ile Provincial Park, in addition to my mammal work, I was thrilled.  For someone as interested in conserving the biodiversity that I grew up loving, reptiles and amphibians couldn’t have been a better fit – they are after all, two of the most imperiled groups of animals on the entire planet!  Reptiles and amphibians are two of the most diverse classes of animals in the world. Sadly however, they are also experiencing among the fastest extinction rates on the planet.

Blanding's Turtle Photo Credit: Sean Boyle

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The amazing but common snake of Ontario

This post was contributed by Ed Morris and Anna Sheppard, Ecologists with Ontario Parks in northeastern Ontario.

On our way to Restoule Provincial Park, Anna said, “I think that was a snake on the road.”

“Let’s go back and check it then,” I responded.

“It looks like a gartersnake,” she said as we got closer.

We stopped anyway. We wanted to be sure it wasn’t one of its rarer cousins.

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